Nearly 4 Million in New Jersey with Preexisting Conditions Currently Protected by Affordable Care Act

(Trenton) -- As millions of Garden Staters benefit from the Affordable Care Act, New Jersey Republicans are doubling down on their plan to repeal the law while Democrats seek to improve, and effectively implement, health care reform.

According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, in New Jersey alone, the Affordable Care Act is protecting, 3,848,000 people with preexisting conditions from discrimination based on their health status, including 485,000 children. In addition, an estimated 2,209,000 people in New Jersey received expanded coverage of one or more preventive services in 2011 and 2012, according to analysis by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Despite the Affordable Care Act’s benefits for New Jersey families, Republicans – including Governor Chris Christie – continue to oppose the law. Last week, Christie called it “an awful law,” a “disaster” and a “train wreck.” He continued, “This entire Obamacare program is a failure.”

“Governor Christie and New Jersey Republicans are completely out of touch with the health care needs of our state,” said New Jersey Democratic State Committee Chairman John Currie. “What’s worse, these Republicans want you to get sick, stay uninsured and pay more for health services. Their single-minded focus on repealing this law even shut down our federal government. That record stands in stark contrast with that of Democrats eager to expand critical benefits to Garden Staters and make the Affordable Care Act work.”

Helping middle class families and American small businesses take advantage of the benefits of the health care law, like the security of affordable health care coverage and protection from discrimination based on preexisting conditions, should be a top priority for lawmakers in Washington. Yet, instead of working to fix the health care law, the irresponsible Tea Party-led House Republicans have voted to repeal it more than 40 times, even shutting down the government -- all to continue the practice of discrimination based on preexisting conditions and undermine critical health care protections for millions of people.

Since 2010, the Affordable Care Act has prohibited insurance companies from denying coverage to the up to 17 million children with preexisting conditions. This protection extended to adults beginning in January 2014, benefiting up to 129 million Americans with preexisting conditions such as cancer, asthma, or diabetes. And, insurance companies will no longer be able to charge higher premiums based on health status or history.

The legislation also allows 105 million Americans to access free, recommended preventive services. A full list of preventive services covered with no cost-sharing is available at HealthCare.Gov. That list includes vision and hearing screening; recommended immunizations; cancer screening, such as colonoscopies for those over 50; cholesterol and blood pressure screening; screening for HIV; and, mammograms and Pap smears.


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